|Near the spot where Captain Christopher Newport landed in 1607, you will find one of the nation’s oldest lighthouses… and the first to make the waters of the Chesapeake Bay navigable and safe for trade and commerce. The Cape Henry Lighthouse was proposed before the American Revolution... but after prodding by Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, the lighthouse was finally completed in October of 1792. The lighthouse was intentionally damaged by Confederate troops during the Civil War only to be repaired and used by Union troops to enter the Chesapeake. By 1872, there were serious questions about its stability. It now stands next to its replacement… an antique itself. The newer Cape Henry Lighthouse was completed in 1881. The lighthouses are both located on the Fort Story military installation. You must have a picture id for anyone 18 years or older if you plan to visit the site.
As you head south toward the resort strip, you will pass the large expanse that is First Landing State Park. It is a wonderful place to hike or bike. With access to the Lynnhaven River, it also has a few small sandy waterfront areas and is a nice place to spend an afternoon. There is a small entrance fee since it is a state park.
You will not just recognize the resort as you see hotels and the boardwalk, but you cannot help missing our expansive beach. In 2002, The Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection project was completed and it restored our resort oceanfront beach to a width of 300 feet. Add that to our expanded boardwalk, the Atlantic Avenue beautification project and BeachStreet USA and you have something for everyone!
If you get an inkling to see more of the historical Virginia Beach… you can make a visit to the Old Coast Guard Station at 24th Street or the historical DeWitt Cottage and Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum at 11th Street. Both sites are on the Oceanfront. For more places to visit in the city, you can stop by the information kiosk behind our Dairy Queen at 17th Street after your sail is over.